This article is about Aviators who became ace in a day. For flying aces in general, see Flying Ace
The term "ace in a day" is used to designate a fighter pilot who has shot down five or more airplanes in a single day.1
World War I
The first aviators to achieve this were pilot Julius Arigi and observer/gunner Johann Lasi of the Austro-Hungarian air force, on 22 August 1916, when they downed five Italian planes.2
World War I flying ace Fritz Otto Bernert scored five victories within 20 minutes on April 24, 1917, even though he wore glasses and was effectively one-armed.3
Raymond Collishaw, piloting a Sopwith Triplane, scored six Albatros D.V fighters near Menen, 6 July 1917.
John Lightfoot Trollope of the Royal Air Force shot down and destroyed seven German planes on 24 March 1918.4
Henry Woollett shot down and destroyed six German airplanes on 12 April 1918, setting two afire.5
Arthur Rowe Spurling, a Bermudian pilot of 49 Squadron of the Royal Air Force, with his observer, Sergeant Frank Bell, On 23 August 1918, flying a DH.9 bomber, single-handedly attacked thirty Fokker D.VII fighters, downing five of them (three by Spurling, two by Bell). Two days later Spurling shot down another D.VII over Mont Notre Dame. The two crewmen shared each others victories, each attaining ace status in a single mission.6
René Fonck scored six in a day on two occasions, 9 May and 26 September 1918.7
Billy Bishop, piloting an S.E.5, scored four Pfalz D.III fighters and a LVG C two-seat reconnaissance aircraft near Ploegsteert, 19 June 1918.
World War II
Triple-Ace in a Day
To achieve this a pilot must have destroyed 15 enemy aircraft in a single day. This was achieved by only four Luftwaffe pilots.8
- The highest number of aerial victories in history for a single day was claimed by Emil Lang when he shot down 18 Soviet fighters on 3 November 1943.9
- The most notable triple-ace in a day is Hans-Joachim Marseille of Germany, who was credited with downing 17 Allied fighters in just three sorties over North Africa on 1 September 1942.10
Double-Ace in a Day
To achieve this a pilot must have destroyed 10 enemy aircraft in a single day.
- Erich Rudorffer is credited with the destruction of the most aircraft ever in a single mission when he shot down 13 Soviet aircraft on 11 October 1943.11 Numerous other Luftwaffe pilots also claimed the title during World War II.citation needed
Ace in a day
- On 6 January 1940 the Finnish pilot, Lieutenant Jorma Sarvanto destroyed six Soviet DB-3 bombers in four minutes on one flight. Sarvanto was the top scoring pilot in the Winter War with 12.83 kills.12
- On 15 June 1940 the French pilot Pierre Le Gloan destroyed 5 Italian aircraft in one flight.13
- Hans Wind of HLeLv 24, Finnish Air Force, scored five kills in a day five separate times during the Soviet Summer Offensive 1944, a total of 30 kills in 12 days, of his final tally of 75.14
Post World War II
In air to air combat during the Indo-Pakistani War of 1965, Muhammad Mahmood Alam of the Pakistan Air Force shot down five Indian Air Force Hawker Hunter Mk.56 fighters in less than a minute, four being in first 30 seconds. He was awarded the Sitara-e-Jurat ("The star of courage") and bar for his actions.171819
On 7 September 1965, Alam shot down 5 Hawker Hunters of the Indian Air Force
- Above the Lines: The Aces and Fighter Units of the German Air Service, Naval Air Service and Flanders Marine Corps, 1914-1918. Norman Franks, Frank W. Bailey, Russell Guest. Grub Street, 1993. ISBN 0-948817-73-9, ISBN 978-0-948817-73-1.
- Above the Trenches: A Complete Record of the Fighter Aces and Units of the British Empire Air Forces 1915-1920. Christopher F. Shores, Norman L. R. Franks, Russell Guest. Grub Street, 1990. ISBN 0-948817-19-4, ISBN 978-0-948817-19-9.
- Air Aces of the Austro-Hungarian Empire 1914 - 1918. Martin O'Connor. Flying Machines Press, 1994. ISBN 0-9637110-1-6, ISBN 978-0-9637110-1-4.
- Battle for Pakistan: The Air War of 1965. John Fricker. I Allan, 1979. ISBN 0-7110-0929-5, ISBN 978-0-7110-0929-5.
- French Aces of World War 2: Volume 28 of Osprey Aircraft of the Aces. Barry Ketley. Osprey Publishing, 1999. ISBN 1-85532-898-4, ISBN 978-1-85532-898-3.
- Over the Front: A Complete Record of the Fighter Aces and Units of the United States and French Air Services, 1914-1918. Norman L. R. Franks, Frank W. Bailey. Grub Street, 1992. ISBN 0-948817-54-2, ISBN 978-0-948817-54-0.
- Bracke, Gerhard (1997). Gegen viefache Übermacht—Mit dem Jagdflieger und Ritterkreuzträger Hans Waldmann an der Ostfront, an der Invasionsfront und in der Reichsverteidigung (in German). Zweibrücken, Germany: VDM Heinz Nickel. ISBN 3-925-480-23-4.
- ^ Geissinger, Steve (October 15, 1997). "Manmade Thunder". The Argus-Press. Retrieved July 17, 2011.
- ^ Air Aces of the Austro-Hungarian Empire 1914 - 1918, pp. 190-191, 272, 324.
- ^ Above the Lines: The Aces and Fighter Units of the German Air Service, Naval Air Service and Flanders Marine Corps, 1914-1918, p. 70.
- ^ Above the Trenches: A Complete Record of the Fighter Aces and Units of the British Empire Air Forces 1915-1920, p. 368.
- ^ Above the Trenches: A Complete Record of the Fighter Aces and Units of the British Empire Air Forces 1915-1920, p. 390.
- ^ http://www.theaerodrome.com/aces/england/spurling.php
- ^ Over the Front: A Complete Record of the Fighter Aces and Units of the United States and French Air Services, 1914-1918, p. 161.
- ^ http://aces.safarikovi.org/victories/germany-top1.html
- ^ Weal, John (1995). Focke-Wulf Fw 190 Aces of the Russian Front. Osprey. p. 72. ISBN 978-1-85532-518-0.
- ^ Caldwell, Donald (2002). In Walter J. Boyne. Air Warfare: an International Encyclopedia: M-Z. ABC-CLIO. p. 395. ISBN 978-1-57607-345-2. "He once shot down 8 RAF fighters in 10 minutes, a day when he claimed 17 victory's in three combat sorties"
- ^ Williamson, Gordon (2005). Knight's Cross, Oak-Leaves and Swords Recipients_1941-45. Osprey. p. 46. ISBN 978-1-84176-643-0.
- ^ Sarvanto, Jorma: Stridsflygare under Karelens himmel, p. 202
- ^ Ketley, Barry (1999). French Aces of World War 2. Oxford: Osprey Publishing. p. 76. ISBN 1-85532-898-4.
- ^ Stenman, Kari (2001). Lentolaivue 24. Osprey. p. 123. ISBN 978-1-84176-262-3.
- ^ Holmes, Tony (2002). Tomahawk and Kittyhawk aces of the RAF and Commonwealth. Osprey. p. 107. ISBN 978-1-84176-083-4.
- ^ Bracke 1997, p. 224.
- ^ Air Cdre M Kaiser Tufail. "Alam’s Speed-shooting Classic". Defencejournal.com. Retrieved 2011-11-15.
- ^ Fricker, John. Battle for Pakistan: the air war of 1965. pp. 15–17. "before we had completed more than of about 270 degree of the turn, at around 12 degree per second, all four hunters had been shot down." -- "My fifth victim of this sortie started spewing smoke and then rolled on to his back at about 1000 feet."
- ^ Polmar, Norman; Dana Bell (2003). One hundred years of world military aircraft. Naval Institute Press. p. 354. ISBN 978-1-59114-686-5. "Mohammed Mahmood Alam claimed five victories against Indian Air Force Hawker Hunters, four of them in less than one minute! Alam, who ended the conflict with 1 1 kills, became history's only jet "ace-in-a-day.""